Fragile helicopter “survived” the harsh Martian night: fresh photos from another planet

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The Ingenuity miniature helicopter, which was lowered to the surface of Mars from the bottom of the Perseverance rover on April 4, has successfully “survived” its first independent night, when temperatures can drop to -90 ° C and damage its microcircuits and batteries. This was reported by the US Aerospace Administration.

 

NASA clarified that making a device small enough to fit on a rover, light enough to fly in the thin atmosphere of Mars, but hardy enough to withstand local frost, “was a major engineering challenge.”

The FDA called the temperature test a “milestone” for the rotorcraft: “We now have confirmation that there is adequate insulation, heaters and enough power in six Li-Ion batteries to survive the cold night.”

See photo: Who bought the “ticket to Mars”? See where your names are now

Over the next two days, Ingenuity will be gathering information on how thermoregulation and power systems work effectively now that the mini-helicopter is autonomous in Mars conditions. The data is used to fine tune systems.

On April 7, it is planned to remove the restraints holding the rotor blades together one above the other, after which the rotor, motors, inertial measuring unit and on-board computers will be tested.

REFERENCE… Ingenuity will use counter-rotating coaxial propellers. Equipment – HD-camera and camera with solar tracker for navigation, data transmitter to the rover. Energy will be taken from solar panels. Up to five flights are planned. Weight 1.8 kg, height on supports 0.8 m, propeller diameter 1.2 m (up to 2400 rpm), chassis volume 14 cm3, power 220 W, battery 35-40 Wh; flight time 90 s, radius up to 300 m, height up to 10 m; Max. speed: horizontal 10 m / s, vertical 3 m / s. Project cost ~ $ 85 million

On the morning of April 12, Kiev time, Ingenuity will try to become the first aircraft to make a controlled flight on another planet. The flight might look like this.

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